Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Compact Discs: Not so Compact.

I'm really intrigued by something I went through last night.

We are giving away our 50 disc CD player. I received it, used, as a high school graduation gift from my parents. It has been well-loved in the past 10 years, and it's still in great condition. However, there was no reason in the world that we needed a 50 disc CD player! If we want to listen to a CD, we can plug Kaden's laptop into the stereo.

I was replacing the 50 CDs from the player into their rightful cases. It is likely that some have not been played since we lived in Bellingham, as we didn't empty it out when we moved. We have two IKEA shelving units that supposedly hold a total of 360 CDs. We also have a single-layer and double-layer box of CDs in the bedroom closet. I would estimate this to total around 500 CDs. (and of course, that doesn't include burned CDs).

cd collection, spring 2008, Legion Way. Note that the record on the floor is not playable.
Even when we were beer drinkers/hell raisers, we never treated good records that way!

We only ever listen to Free Radio Olympia, KAOS, or Kaden's iTunes.

When I began putting CDs in their cases, then into the boxes, I loved them all. I loved them ALL. I even loved all of Kaden's CDs that he had before we moved in together (8 years ago), that I had never heard. Their spines, their names, their colors are familiar to me. I should listen to every one of these, all the way through, I thought.

cd collection, spring 2010, Bellingham

I purchased another IKEA shelf, same size and style, last month. But then we decided we didn't need it; it made more sense to go through the CDs we have, get rid of some, and store some, leaving out no more than the 360 on the existing shelves. Luckily our friend Brianna was interested in buying it off me, so I didn't have to drive an hour and a half to return it, or put it on Craigslist. Yet when I unearthed the boxes of CDs from the bedroom closet - I didn't want to get rid of any. It didn't feel to me like a paralysis of action because the amount was overwhelming (though it kind of is), but it did feel like identifying with my possessions.

cd collection (partial) on IKEA shelving, current

So I am interested in this feeling; I am curious. I am non-judgmental, and intrigued. I love those CDs.

I care about music more than just about anything, but that is different from loving CDs. I can enjoy music whether it is on the radio, a live concert, on a static-filled mix tape, or playing in the grocery store. There is so much music in the world that I haven't heard and it's so exciting and awful at the same time. What if I miss something? What if I forget the name of a band I meant to check out?

I told Kaden a bit about my affectionate feelings; he said I shouldn't force myself to get rid of anything I don't want to, and I certainly won't! We have only very recently begun using an (old, used) iPod, and it really does change one's relationship to music. If all these CDs were just digital, I don't think I'd give a shit about them. Digital music isn't tangible to me.
I wouldn't, couldn't, look at the titles on a computer screen and feel love. I haven't voluntarily listened to music in weeks - it is there, and I enjoy it - but I don't choose it.

I don't know where all the CDs will end up, but I am pretty excited to explore this big area of "stuff" and my feelings about it.


Jenny @ exconsumer said...

HI Liina. How interesting. :) I feel the exact same way about books. I purged about 75% of all my books last summer, but there are quite a few that I just love. Even though I haven't reread any of them in this past year, I sometimes leaf through them, looking for parts I want to re-skim.

I'm also feeling quite emotional about things that are related to my sons. Like their birthday cards.

I'll be curious to see what you discover about your attachment to the CDs. I'll bet Tanja from Minimalist Packrat would have some good advice on this.

Colleen (365lessthings) said...

Hi Liina,
I love that you know you have stuff but are curious and prepared to analyse the way you feel about it. Mind you, one could analyse themselves into justifying everything they own and buy so be aware of that.

I am so envious that you life in the Pacific Northwest, I lived there of 7 years and loved it. I don't think you can grow up there and not love music. My two children sure do and they really miss the music vibe of Seattle.

Cat's Meow said...

Impressive CD-collection!
The first thing that came to my mind too was all those book-lovers :)For me the hardest has been craft supplies but when I have let them go I have actually felt great. Someone else can use them and when I need something I'll be able to get it them. We have a huge lot of movies (that husband has culled but is not ready to part with a lot of them) and I've just taken them out of the cases to save space, and I'm going to put them all in a plastic tub and hope that when we move the next time we can get rid of most of them. We used to watch movies all the, several every week, and it stopped completely when we had our daughter. We do miss it some, but then there are new movies coming out ALL THE TIME so we are only likely to watch new ones, and our very favorite old ones.. Whenever we get back into movie watching.. Also I received a box of children's story cd's from my aunt who was directing "plays" for radio until she just retired. It's awesome stuff, and I should really put it all into our computer or take it out of the cases.. DD is two and can start listening to them. (So much better than tv.. )

Liina said...

Thanks everyone for your comments - I love all your blogs!

Jenny - my husband is the book collector in our household! He is working on his Master's Thesis, so he needs a lot of books around. And he has been able to part with some pretty hefty stacks, recently. We thought we were going to need to buy a new bookshelf, but it turned out we didn't! Pretty thrilled about that.

Colleen - You are very right; I will be very careful not to over-justify ;) I know in my heart that I am on the right track, so I'm not too worried! & I LOVE the Pacific Northwest. I've lived here all my life and I can't imagine what it would be like anywhere else!

Cat's Meow - I was shocked a few months ago to count 92 DVDs in our collection. It seemed so small!! My church is doing a craft-supply drive for the children who stay at the local women's shelter. It was great motivation for me to let go of even more craft stuff!